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Island Guardian

Jean Ellen Mitchell

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September 26, 1926 ~ September 18, 2015

Jean Ellen McNaught Mitchell, age 88, of Highlands, NC, passed away peacefully on September 18th, 2015. She was born on September 26th, 1926 to the late General Warren Henry McNaught and Marion Ray McNaught. Jean was preceded in death by her loving husband of 50 years, James Robert Mitchell Sr. of Friday Harbor, WA and her brother David Alger McNaught.

Arraignments have been made through Bryant-Grant Funeral Home in Franklin, NC and online visitors may sign the guest register at Future plans are for internment at a National Military Cemetery.

Jean was a raised in an army family and thus had made many moves in her lifetime. She attended Mills College as an undergraduate and Claremont Graduate University, to gain her Master’s Degree.

Jean followed the family tradition and served in the Army as an officer where she worked as a Clinical Psychologist for several years, before going into private practice. Jean was an environmental activist, who was a member of the Ozark Society, Sierra Club, Cousteau Society, and Nature Conservancy amongst a few. In addition she was active in the cause against the fluoridation of water and also was an active member of the Natural Food Organization promoting the cause of raising organic foods which she accurately predicted would someday become mainstream. Jean was an avid reader, traveler and student of the spiritual realm. She was a lifelong Unitarian.

Jean and James retired in their 50’s to Friday Harbor, WA, in the beautiful San Juan Islands, where they enjoyed over 20 years of retirement. While living in Friday Harbor, Jean and Jim captained their yacht on many trips to Canada and far north to Alaska. They particularly enjoyed their trips when family members joined them. Jean also served in an elected capacity as Water Commissioner, while living in Friday Harbor.

After the passing of her husband, Jean moved to NC where she could be near her son and daughter in law, Jim and Cathy Mitchell of Charleston and Highlands and their 4 children. In 2013 she traveled with her family to include 6 of her grandchildren on a cruise to Alaska, to visit her other son Frank and his family whom live in Anchorage.

Jean is survived by her son Frank Warren, and wife Deena Elkholy of Anchorage, AL, and their children, Liam, Charlotte, and Gretchen and by her son James Robert Mitchell Jr, and wife Catherine Lee Jones Mitchell and their children James Robert Mitchell III, Ashley, Courtney and Hunter. She is also survived by her sister Marion McNaught and a niece and nephew of Winston- Salem, NC

Alan Lichter

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1931 ~ 2013

Alan Robert Lichter passed away on July 6, 2013. Son of Harry and Rose Lichter, he was born and raised in the area of the Boston docks, and worked in his father's war surplus store, eventually running it himself.

His childhood revolved around his Jewish education, work and family; after the death of his father when he was a teenager, he became the breadwinner of the household. As a young man, Alan joined the Merchant Marines (a lifetime appointment) and worked as a ship's chandler.

His army service was at Fort Lewis, Washington, during which he met his first wife Ellie Silverstone. He became a vocational counselor at Seattle's Jewish Family and Child Services; because he spoke several languages, including Russian, German, Hebrew and Yiddish, he used his skills to counsel European refugees who found themselves in Seattle after WWII.

In the 1960's he became the Education Director at Temple De Hirsh Sinai. In his thirties he earned a Ph.D. at U.W. He moved to Lawrence, Kansas and became a tenured Professor of English, Children's Literature and Poetry Writing. Nearly every summer he traveled in Europe; a year as a Fulbright Scholar was spent in Gdansk, Poland, where he was a firsthand witness to the historic Solidarity revolutionary movement.

After retiring from the academic life at 62, he moved to Orcas Island. He had begun going there in 1957, and considered the island his true home. He became a full-time resident in 1993, and it was on Orcas that he met and married his second wife Kate Agape.

His 'retirement' was anything but retired. During the course of the next 20 years, he dove into myriad interests and activities. He was a consummate outdoorsman and runner, with an interest in martial arts and a brown belt in karate. He continued to travel in Europe and Asia. He earned his pilot's license, owned his own plane and did Mercy Flights for people needing emergency transportation to the mainland. He served several years as a Park Steward at Moran State Park. He created San Juan County's Veteran's Advisory Board, and sat as Chair of Orcas' Library Board. He also served a four-year term as Commissioner and Councilman for San Juan County.

He will be missed in so many ways...perhaps most of all for his ever present sense of humor and vast collection of intentionally terrible puns. Alan is survived by his wife Kate; his three children, Michelle, Eric and Howard; his two grandsons, Eli and Noah; and his brother Paul.

The family asks, in lieu of flowers, that any remembrances be made in Alan's name to the Orcas Library, 500 Rose St., Eastsound, WA 98245. Arrangements are in the care of Evans Funeral Chapel and Crematory, Inc., Anacortes, WA and the San Juan Islands.

To share memories of Alan, please sign the online guest register at

Donna "Pauli" Gavora

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March 13, 1956 ~ January 5, 2012

Donna Pauline Gavora, 55, passed away January 5, 2012 at her home in Friday Harbor, Washington after a long battle with cancer.

Pauli lived on San Juan Island for the past 24 years. For a few years Pauli did building designs and land use permits, and then started Gavora, LLC, providing land use consulting and marine structure design and permitting for businesses and property owners in the northern Puget Sound area.

Pauli was an adventurer, a lover of art and ideas. She loved to kayak and hike in Alaska and brought her love of the outdoors to her new home on 15 acres on San Juan Island, where she designed a small home and created a natural park-like setting around the house that gently transitioned into the natural forest and plants that dominated the property. She said she raised “cows,” which of course were the numerous deer that found their way to her little bit of paradise.

She was fearless in the face of both new places and new ideas. As a thirteen-year-old she spent most of her eighth grade year with relatives in Czechoslovakia. Later she spent her summers north of Fairbanks, tending the greenhouse and gardens at Arctic Circle Hot Springs, and while still only a teenager, Pauli would ride along to help her girlfriend take a string of horses up to a hunting camp - a trip that caused her father to insist she carry a 30-06 along in case of a grizzly attack: “Had I fired it, it would probably have blown me out of the saddle.”

In college and later in graduate school she studied history, philosophy and anthropology, always asking the hard questions and taking the time to try to find the answers. She loved nothing better than to have a spirited intellectual debate with anyone, on any subject.

While she kept her eye on new adventures, Pauli was also deeply involved in her community. She was president of the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 163. She revitalized and organized the annual Arbor Day tree donations in San Juan County, annually giving away thousands of seedlings. Pauli was a passionate local advocate and fundraiser for the WWII Veteran Honor Flight Network and the Wounded Warrior Project. She was a loving daughter and sister, an admired aunt, a devoted friend, and a patriot.

Pauli is survived by her parents, Donna and Paul Gavora of Fairbanks, as well as her sisters, Alexandra Gavora of Friday Harbor, Jessica Gavora of Washington, DC, Jennifer Gavora Button of Fairbanks, and Carrie Gavora of Washington, DC; her brothers, Daniel Gavora, Rudy Gavora and Steven Gavora of Fairbanks, and Matthew Gavora of Vancouver, Washington; her siblings’ spouses and 19 nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the American Legion Auxiliary, PO Box 662, Friday Harbor, WA 98250 and reference Wounded Warrior Fund or Honor Flight Fund.

A Different Time, A Different Place

By Pauli Gavora

I hate to seem ungrateful. I, like most people, do appreciate the return of the light and the warmth that the sun brings this time of year. I remember as a child, lying in the snow bank in the early winter of Alaska, looking at the stars at 2:00 in the afternoon: as days grew progressively darker, progressively colder. And wondering with a certain amount of anxiety “how do we know its coming back? Perhaps we have broken loose from our lunge line, and it will keep getting darker, and colder.”

That was a different time, a different place -a different sensibility. Here I am now, begrudging the suns return. It’s the light thing actually. It is the winter light’s romance with the old barns, that I value: their flaws, their failings, are not to be revealed in those beginning-of-the day hours. When things seem hopeful, and “lovely” -a word that I rarely use, comes, unbidden, to my mind.

I love my morning drive into town on Beaverton Valley road. I love what the oblique early morning rays do to the color of things. I think of writing a letter to Richard Lawson in his violet house, and thanking him for the equine images offset in chestnut and bay that graze on the oh-so-green grass near the white fence. And I especially want to thank the people who own the old barns which line the path into Town. The way the angled rays catch those sloped roofs. Who, besides Euclid, would ever have thought that there could be such beauty in an irradiated rectangle, triangle, trapezoid?

My childhood anxiety about the fastness of the tether has been replaced by one concerning the impermanence of these objects -so gorgeously revealed in the early hours by the winter sun. Will the oblique rays of the autumnal equinox, find the horses and the barns still standing? I have been told that one of the horses is very old, and the barns have been standing for a long time. Things change, and there is not much you can do about it. All I know; is that I am happy to have been here, happy to have had another season -of the winter light’s romancing the barns.

[The above was written several years ago by Pauli when we first started The Island Guardian -even the name was her idea. I of course wanted to print it, but Pauli demurred. “Run it when you need something to post,” she said. And so it went into the hold file, where it has remained until today, the day after Pauli passed away. And today is the day I do need something to post to honor and memorialize the most important person in my life, and in the life of so many who knew her. Her own words do more than anything I, or any of her legion of friends could possible say, to show one part of her that made us all love her -Jack Cory]

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Edward Andrew Johnson

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March 15, 1939 ~ Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Ed Johnson, 72, a third generation Friday Harbor resident, passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday, December 28, 2011 at his farm. He was born in Bellingham, Washington on March 15, 1939, the youngest child of Andrew Julius and Edna Gertrude (Dougherty) Johnson.

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Jim Cahail

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January 4, 1934 ~ December 23, 2011

Hubert James (Jim) Cahail passed away at Life Care Center in Friday Harbor on December 23, 2011 from an aggressive form of lung cancer. Jim was born on January 4, 1934 in Friday Harbor to Hubert and Frances (Mickey) Cahail.

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Rodger Blair Sandwith

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June 7, 1947 ~ November 23, 2011

Roger Blair Sandwith, a.k.a. "Big Rog," passed away on November 23, 2011 surrounded by family in Friday Harbor, Washington. He was 64.

Click to view the rest of the article ******

Kristen Carlberg

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Kristen Carlberg, beloved daughter of Ed and Betty Carlberg of Friday Harbor, died on November13th, 2011, at age 60 in Portland, OR, almost four years after a diagnosis of metastatic colon cancer.

Kristen was a scientist, an animal lover, and photographer. After earning bachelor’s degrees in biology at Washington State University and the University of Washington, and her doctoral degree at John Hopkins University, she spent her career as a research scientist studying the cell biology of cancer and the genetics of aging at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the University of Washington, and the University of Texas at San Antonio.

Her love of animals was shown by her volunteer work at animal shelters and rescue centers, fostering of homeless kittens, participation in bearded collie associations and competitions, and devotion to her own cats and talented dog. She was an expert photographer who could get any cat to smile for the camera.

She photographed hundreds of cats for adoption ads, as well as all kinds of wild animals encountered during her travels. She traveled extensively throughout the U.S., including a bicycle trip from Seattle to Baltimore, as well as in Europe and Japan. Landscape photography from her travels will be cherished by her family.

She married Mark Pennak in the Roche Harbor chapel; they later divorced. In addition to her parents, Kristen is survived by a sister, Karen, of Spokane, and her brother, sister-in-law, and niece, Robert, Debbie, and Sören, of Edmonds.

Robert Amick Nichols

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September 24, 1923 ~ October 24, 2011

Bob, 88, of Ephrata, WA, formerly of Friday Harbor, took his last earthly flight on Monday, Oct. 24, 2011, in Moses Lake.

He was born in Riverside, CA to Bernard and Esther Amick Nichols. His family moved to Seattle in 1936, where he graduated from Queen Anne High School in 1941. The after graduation he left for Alaska to work at Fort Richardson with his father.

Bob joined the army in 1943 and went through Paratrooper training. Before being deployed he suffered a broken ankle in a car accident - which meant he could not jump again. He ended up as a Communication Half Track driver in the 4th Armored Division, which took him to Normandy, The Battle of the Bulge, and the Liberation of Buchenwald and Dachau, during WWII.

After the war, he met and married Lorena Edgerton from Mukilteo and raised three children in western Washington. While the children were still in grade school, Bob got a job flying for Roy Franklin and Island Sky Ferries, as well and instructing pilots, in Friday Harbor. He always said he was "almost" ashamed to accept pay, because flying was so much fun. He later joined Sam Buck and San Juan Properties where he was the company pilot and a broker.

After Lorena's lengthy battle with multiple sclerosis, he married one of his flying students, Yvonne Rouleau, and they eventually moved to Wenatchee and then Ephrata, WA in 1996.

He was active in the Amateur Radio Club, Masons and Eastern Star as well as being a member of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. He was a superb handyman and a great joke teller! He and Vonnie took their 5th wheel trailer on many camping trips with Sassy Sam's RV Club and visited their grandchildren as often as possible.

He was preceded in death by his son Scott Nichols of Tacoma, and grandson Brian Nichols of Trinidad, CO.

Bob is survived by his wife of 23 years, Yvonne Rouleau Nichols. Sister: Lt. CoJ. Barbara Nichols, retired, of Lacey, W A. Daughter: Valarie Nichols of San Jose, CA. Son: Kimball Nichols (Erin) of Trinidad, CO. Stepdaughters: Laurie Rouleau (John Dirvanoski) of Marysville, WA and Edie Rouleau (Gary Severin) of Ellensburg W A.

And his grandchildren (He was so proud of all the grandchildren): Tacy Nichols with great-grandson Blayk, Robert A. Nichols II, Breann Nichols, Morgan McPherson, Erinn McPherson, Kale Severin, and Zena Severin.

Michael B. Roger

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Our island home lost a beloved family member, treasured friend, and caring advocate when Michael Roger succumbed to lymphoma on Thursday evening, October 20, 2011. He was in the care of Hospice House in Bellingham, where family and friends were close by his side during his brief stay.

Michael spent his professional career defending the rights of employees as a labor attorney in his firm of Weinberg, Roger & Rosenfeld in Alameda, California. He and his wife Gail purchased their house in Roche Harbor in 2001 and became fulltime residents in their new chosen home when Michael retired in 2005. But professional retirement did not slow Michael down, as he continued his advocacy role in many volunteer activities and elected office.

As Hospital District Board Commissioner, Michael worked tirelessly with San Juan Island EMS and the Inter Island Medical Center to ensure the strength and viability of ongoing operations at both facilities.

As member of the San Juan Community Hospital Committee and the PIMC Steering Committee, Michael helped guide the process of forging a partnership with PeaceHealth to bring a critical access hospital to our island community.

As Chair of the County's Citizens Salary Commission, Michael worked to ensure equitable remuneration for elected officials of San Juan County.

As Treasurer of the Inter Island Healthcare Foundation, Michael helped to oversee fundraising efforts for Inter Island Medical Center and San Juan Island EMS.

As Treasurer of the Board of Homes for Islanders, Michael worked to provide housing and housing assistance to island residents in need. He also served as Treasurer of the Roche Harbor Road Association.

But even more important…..

As a friend, Michael provoked stimulating and challenging exchanges, provided welcomed counsel, reveled in watching dogs at play (Maddy and all her friends), and loved sharing good stories and laughter over a plate of good food and a glass of good wine.

As a father and grandfather, Michael created cherished memories for his family, whether through travels to destinations from Hawaii to New York, or amazing restaurant dining experiences, or just doing battle over a mean game of poker or a board game.

As a husband, Michael shared a life with Gail that was filled with shared family times, varied interests, travel adventures, warm companionship, deep love and great joy.

Michael will be greatly missed by all whose lives he touched.

Special memories of Michael can be shared at a gathering of friends, neighbors, and family on Wednesday, November 2, 5:00-7:00 pm, at Duck Soup Inn on Roche Harbor Road.

Commemorative gifts can be directed to the San Juan Island Community Foundation (PO Box 1352), noting that the gift is in support of Peace Island Medical Center -- or to Homes for Islanders (PO Box 545).

Bruce Winden Rowe

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December 19, 1928 ~ September 20, 2011

On September 20th, Bruce Winden Rowe passed on in Friday Harbor at the Life Care Center where he had been for almost a year. He was born in Everett, Washington on December 19, 1928 to Doris and Rear Admiral Gordon Rowe. He attended schools in Hawaii, Panama, California, and Washington, graduating from Broadway High School in Seattle in 1946.

He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis in 1950. He married Anne Kerry with whom he had two sons, Bruce K. and Andrew, and a daughter, Julia.

During the Korean War Bruce was a carrier pilot flying dive bombers and a gunnery officer on destroyers. After leaving the Navy he graduated from the Harvard Business School in 1958 with a masters degree.

He bought a small Seattle business named Van Daal, and built it into the largest building materials distributor serving the Northwest and Alaska. He also started Bruce’s Building Materials with manufacturing plants for doors and metal products, and several Ace Hardware Stores. He was president of Rowe and Associates, a consulting firm.

In 1979 he married Joan Huston, a Bellevue teacher and librarian and, after retiring they enjoyed traveling extensively in Japan, China, Mexico, Egypt, Costa Rica, France, Turkey, Greece, and many times in the South Pacific islands, especially Bruce’s favorite Bora Bora. He also enjoyed fishing, hunting, boating, skiing, and raising prize-winning roses.

While boating in the San Juan Islands, they decided to move to Cape San Juan where they have resided for twenty-two years.

He is survived by his wife, Joan, her three sons Mark, Phil, and Paul, wives Marcia and Krista, and granddaughter Bridget. Also son Bruce, wife Barbara, and children Kerry and Brian; son Andrew, wife Bennett and sons Daniel and Gabriel; daughter Julie, husband Tony, and daughters Christina and Angela.

Also his brother Roger, wife Suann, daughters Jocelyn and Marjorie, son Chris, and children Zenaida and Aidan; his deceased brother John’s children Mary, Kate and David, and numerous cousins.

There will be a memorial service for Bruce at St. Francis Church, 425 Price Street, on Saturday, October 22nd at 11:00 a.m. followed by a reception and luncheon at Vinny’s Ristorante in Friday Harbor.

If you like, remembrances in Bruce’s name may be made to St. Francis Church, P.O. Box 1489, Friday Harbor, WA 98250, or San Juan Lions Club Foundation, P.O. Box 54, Friday Harbor, WA 98250.

Tom Bauschke
John Evans
Mary Kalbert
Ron Keeshan
Gordy Petersen
Janice Peterson
Bruce Sallan
Terra Tamai
Amy Wynn
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